One of the central parts of the Australian Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic was allowing eligible persons to access their superannuation early. Approximately 665,000 Australians applied to access their super in this way in the first week of the program. In this article Dominic Cookman provides an update on on some of the aspects of this scheme.


The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is beginning to fill in the details of the early access to super scheme. A detailed overview can be found here.


Eligible citizens and permanent residents of Australian or New Zealand can apply for a withdrawal of up to $10,000 in FY 2019–20, and a further $10,000 in FY 2020–21. Eligible temporary residents are able to apply once to access up to $10,000 in FY 2019–20.

Employees in both the private and public sectors can apply.

Applications are submitted through MyGov.


If you have a Cornwell claim (or potential claim) for damages for lost public sector superannuation, accessing your superannuation may also have implications for the limitation period applying to those claims, and we would urge you to seek advice from our Commonwealth Superannuation team about those implications.

As the ATO points out, accessing your super early will affect your retirement income, and may also affect any insurance cover associated with your super account.

How can we help?

The decision to access your superannuation early should not be taken lightly, and we would urge you to seek accounting or financial advice before you access any funds; for legal advice you can contact our Commonwealth Superannuation team on 02 6285 8000 or by email.